“TRUE REFLECTION” Please journey with me into the heart of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and the way they see you and love you and long to have a relationship with you. This is their heart... I am simply a vessel. Open wide your heart and enjoy!
When I paint I believe I feel a small degree of God’s love for His people that He fashioned with deep love and tender care. While creating I move from feeling the heart of God so passionate in His love for His precious creation; to the hands of an artist yearning to knit colors with meaning to encourage the hearts of His people; to seeing the own beauty of my life as a priceless masterpiece in process. If you look closely, you will see a ring on the woman’s finger (this woman is you). It holds many promises. In the original painting you can see two layers of “diamonds” representing God’s love and how He wants to place a wall or a hedge of protection around you as your heavenly groom... for you are His BEAUTIFUL bride. This world is sometimes harsh and wearisome but the Lord wants to fill you with you with the good news of the love of Christ for you. Ah yes... but how often do we feel beautiful enough to be the bride of the God of all creation. We see our inward heart and the flaws inside and out... we know our actions, speech, hidden attitudes and the way we live and many ways we fail to represent Him daily. We know our sins!
When I shared this painting at a women's conference, after the introduction of this painting, I turned the painting upside down. The woman that was on the top of the painting was now on the bottom...
.....the beautifully formed woman is your TRUE REFLECTION!!!!!
You are the wonderfully fashioned person! Each morning we wake to the same face and are quick to note the flaws we see. As well, we easily recite all the failings of the past, our sins and the inadequacies of the present. Our adversary satan constantly works in our minds and through the media to further devastate and destroy our view of ourselves.
While painting I purposefully kept the facial reflection distorted because the scripture about Jesus’ face being marred beyond belief kept going through my mind. It was only after I finished painting that I understood fully why I was to make sure the face stayed distorted. Because how true it is that each day and night the enemy places lies in our minds that disfigure the way we ourselves and others view us... just like occurred to Jesus before being hung on a cross. He was beaten physically and we get beaten mentally and emotionally. He took that beating so we wouldn’t have to endure the enemies torture and lies! He did not resist the beating, but had us in His heart as he was brutally disfigured and whipped and then hung on a cross. He wants to tear the wall of lies down so you don’t feel unworthy and ashamed to come into His presence.
In the blurry reflection there is no ring... because we don’t see ourselves worthy of being His bride. And, in all reality we are not worthy of being a pure and spotless bride. Sin has stained our hearts. But the truth is when we only become spotless and pure when we confess our sins and ask forgiveness. By the blood Jesus shed, we become white as snow!
As a Christian I want to keep my heart open to receive the truth found through the Word. As I read the Bible, I open my heart in to the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit (symbolized by the three hands in the reflection). If you're like me, daily there are moments where you don't live or act like the exquisite bride you long to be. You and I... well we feel unworthy! But, the truth is because of Christ there is a ring on our finger... we are the bride to the God of this whole earth.
He chose you, He loves you and He longs to be close to you. He wants to hear you talk to Him, to call His name and longs to see your eyes looking... searching for His eyes. The Bible says the Lord will return for a pure and spotless bride. It is through the water of God’s word that our hearts can be made clean. It is important that we humble ourselves and drink of the water of God’s word daily. We cannot and will not make it on this earth mentally or emotionally without the truth of God’s refreshing word to wash the innermost parts of our hearts and cleanse our minds.
Looking at the painting "right side up" is to be a reminder that the distorted image is your inaccurate view of yourself and the soft, tender, radiant woman is who you TRULY ARE... who you are destined to be! Look to the right of the distorted image that now is on the bottom of the painting. Jesus is gazing upon your reflection. He’s hidden in the waters so very close to the distorted image of how you and I often see ourselves. Actually so close as is to whisper the tenderness of His love... “I created you... I died for you... for your sins... I rose from death so that you might know freedom... I took the beating so you wouldn’t have to... don’t listen to the lies... listen to Me... I love you my daughter... my bride... my friend... MY BEAUTIFUL CREATION!”
The Bible says that Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father interceding and praying for you. He gazes at you, interceding and praying for you, fighting for you... so you can rest! Be still before His water and let it wash over you and cleanse you from the lies! Drink of His Word (read the Bible).
Now look at the distorted reflection next to the image of Jesus. Look near the arm... there is an image of a sword. This is symbolic of: The Lord fights for us. He is our defense and our protector. The enemy doesn’t want me or you to read His word daily... or at all! Satan wants us busy... fretting, worrying, fearful, striving to try to create in ourselves someone of worth and value so all our time is gone and we leave no time for being still enough to bow before God’s word. "The Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword." Hebrews 4:12
The enemy will do anything and everything to discourage me and you. Our adversary wants to stop us from drinking of the truth... because once we do he knows in time we will be ready for battle. He also knows that if you stay in the Word enough you will begin to see your true beauty past the flaws. Your confidence renewed, you will then be a strong yet gentle warrior ready to set others free from lies and tell other people of the love of Jesus Christ!
Equal to the importance of reading the Word is the importance of fellowship with other living stones... or Christians. If you were to go up to any body of still water to drink and refresh yourself, you would sink in mud unless there were rocks to stand on. Your footing is best when you choose to walk in an area where there are many (living) stones to keep your balance and footing on. The woman is barefoot. I did so purposefully to represent the importance of transparency and vulnerability among believers.
Now look at the diversity of the stones. The original artwork is 30 inches by 40... therefore there are many details you cannot see in this photograph. I poured a lot of my heart into these stones. That is God’s heart... to pour Himself into your life. If you allow, He will hover over your life painting you with colors and texture. Praying while I painted... I knelt on the watercolor board so very close to each stone and prayed for those who would see this painting that God would use this painting to heal your hearts, restore the broken places and strengthen each one of you. I placed some stones next to other stones of contrasting and opposite colors on purpose... because opposite colors are symbolic of the beauty found in diversity, humility and supporting others gifts.
Though I tried to make the stones somewhat realistic, I made them different. Some stones, because of their color, I wanted to stand out a bit more. These might be the personalities that can stand before crowds and tell others of God's love. Other stones have green hues symbolize those that are gifted in helping others grow in their faith. Blue could symbolize peaceful personalities. Yellow would be those who just radiate the joy of the Lord. The large stones near the water represent those that help others by offering a firm footing. There are others that are small but sparkle reflecting God’s wondrous love.
Do not compare yourself to others or measure yourself to yourself (or your own expectations)... the Bible says that is not wisdom. You will totter between pride or deep rooted insecurity. Embrace the beauty of the stone he has fashioned you to be, rely on others and enjoy the contrasting way he has made all of us. As well, remember that when a stones are wet (with God’s spirit and washed by His word) their colors are emphasized and their natural beauty magnified. Bow before His word as often as possible... to strengthen and refresh your heart and fill your heart with His love to share with others.
He will return for a pure and spotless bride... all of us are sinners saved by His grace and the sacrifice of His blood on the cross. Only His Word can wash the mud of this earth off of us, His living stones, and fill us with us with power to turn from the sins that only cause hurt and destruction. His Word, the Bible, holds your true reflection and the power to set you free. You are His precious masterpiece... never forget that!
As I painted this piece, I sat on my knees painting and layering it with layers and washes of color. I had a love for this piece before it had even been sketched because I had a vision for it’s purpose and the part of God's heart it would declare. In the same way, like a sketch within your mother's womb, God loved you deeply and gazed upon the beauty of your life.
I love what I paint however it turns out... because it holds part of me within it. The Lord has a vision for your life. Your life is not meant to be meaningless or hopeless. I pray, that as you read this, you feel the Father’s love wash over you and give you fresh hope and strength for your life.
Realize that just as this painting has an artist and a designer, your life too was created by a loving Father Artist. Just as these colors didn’t fall onto this paper out of nowhere, this earth and every person on it were created and fashioned with a purpose and plan.
Grab your Bible! Or go buy one if you don't have one! Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the love of God in a deep and tangible way. Ask for a deeper revelation of your worth and value. Ask Him to heal the deep places of Your heart! You are not only His cherished bride, you are a priceless living masterpiece created to live in eternity with the Lover of your soul. You are adored and deeply loved!